Bad series for the Spurs, by the way. The Game 1 and Game 5 comebacks by the Lakers were two of the four biggest rallies in the playoffs since 2006. Good for Los Angeles, but shame on San Antonio. Afterward Popovich continued with the lies -- this is the guy who called the Lakers a "team" and said Fisher didn't foul Brent Barry at the end of Game 4 -- by saying it would be "too superficial analysis" to assume the Spurs would make wholesale changes for next season.
Hell, even the notoriously uninteresting Tim Duncan said the Spurs needed to make changes to compete with the Lakers next season, when Los Angeles will add injured center Andrew Bynum, an emerging star, to the mix.
"Obviously we'll have to add some pieces," Duncan said. "I thought our team played hard. Love what we had this year. We just weren't good enough through stretches."
Like any stretch where Kobe went off. After picking his spots for three quarters, Bryant dominated the ball for the last 8½ minutes. It helped that Gasol, who had opened the game 2-for-9 from the floor, displayed his full assortment of Oscar Mayer shots and spooked himself so badly that he spent the rest of the game ignoring open shots.
With Gasol acting merely as a conduit, Bryant rubbed off Gasol screens and dribbled until he had a shot. That worked. Kobe scored 14 points in the final 8½ minutes. Result? The Lakers, who once trailed by 17, built their lead to 11 points. That's a 28-point swing in the span of about 25 minutes.
"Never a dull moment with these boys," Jackson said.
Bryant had help. A little. Gasol grabbed 19 rebounds, handed out five assists (mostly to Bryant) and blocked four shots. Odom dug deep for 13 points. Sasha Vujacic hit a killer 3-pointer with 8:25 left and added five points in the last 33.4 seconds to finish it off.
When it was over the Lakers acted like kids in the locker room, savoring a surprisingly easy series victory that will give them a rest advantage over whoever comes out of the East. It was so easy, in fact, that Jackson told his team to go out into the night and enjoy themselves.
"This is a fleeting moment, winning a series," Jackson said. "I told them to enjoy it for the evening -- Kobe especially."
Kobe especially. Indeed.